Paper Swatch Swap: Yahoo Papermaking Group

Every year the Yahoo Papermaking Group holds a Swatch Swap, which is an international exchange of handmade paper samples with recipes of how each unique paper was made.

This year, a fellow Louisiana-located papermaker Megan Singleton has hosted the Swap. I had the pleasure of participating for the first time and giving a helping hand to make the book cover paper. Who am I? Click here for my artist website.

Keep scrolling for photographs & details on how the handmade paper book covers were made.

handmade paper book arts covers pulp paintings

swatch swap book arts hand paper making papermaking art

swatch swap hand papermaking group yahoo title pageTitle Page.

swatch swap book paper samples plant fiber papermaking

Just one spread with paper samples…with my small contribution of paper made from cast-iron plant and linen rag. Cast-iron plant is a popular ornamental plant in the South, and the university just happened to be chopping it down and tossing it away. The linen rag is from Steven’s Linen in Dudley, Mass., where you can buy linen calendar towel misprints by the pound.

pulp painting watermark handmade paper art papermaking

The sheets spread out.

cotton rag pulling paper sheet papermaking mold and deckle art

Megan is pulling a base sheet of Black Arch Shred Half Stuff paper pulp with a mold and deckle from a vat. The cotton pulp was beaten for 2 hrs in a David Reina paper beater.

how to couch wet paper sheet tutorial photos images

Couching (papermaking jargon for pressing/transferring) the wet sheet from the mold onto absorbent felts.

"may babcock" "megan singleton" pulling handmade paper sheets papermaking edition

The second vat had blue pigmented cotton pulp.

jet stream watermark papermaking "pulp painting" demonstration techniques process

After pulling a thin wet sheet, we used a hose (on jet or shower setting) to make watermarks down the middle, a reductive pulp painting method. The pressure of the water forces the pulp aside, leaving thin or open areas. Variable editions are great!

"jet stream watermark" layer "pulp painting" "handmade paper art" edition papermaking

Couching the blue layer of pulp onto the base sheet.

papermaking "hand paper art" couching sheet wet pulp painting "May Babcock"

The third and last layer was white cotton rag, also sprayed with water.

wet handmade paper pulp sheet papermaking watermark "swatch swap"

After this, the wet sheets were pressed and dried flat in stack dryers.

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13 thoughts on “Paper Swatch Swap: Yahoo Papermaking Group

  1. I am curious to know if any of these specialty papers are used by watercolourists and printmakers?

  2. joyce says:

    MARY! Thank you so much for pinning and posting the swap book on yahoo group. It looks beautiful! Job very well done!!! Craft Artist (Joyce)

  3. maybabcock says:

    I’m sure plenty do; there are many great handmade paper sources, such as Carriage House Paper and Twinrocker. I am one of many printmakers/papermakers who make their own paper and incorporate it into their work.

  4. Thank you for the names of these suppliers. I enjoy these postings of yours and especially seeing you detail the process with photos. It is really quite intriguing.

  5. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes action! Beautiful!

  6. I’ve participated in the Swatch Swap many times, but not this year. My loss, for sure. Lovely covers!

  7. Teri says:

    This is wonderful…i think you have given this project NEW LIFE!

  8. Linda Wallpe says:

    Great photos showing the process of making the lovely covers. As a participant, I appreciate the effort of taking the project that one extra step.

  9. maybabcock says:

    Thank-you all for your kind words! I had fun helping out Megan with the covers, and am happy to share the process.

  10. [...] February 4, 2012May Babcock (Papermaking Helper) published this great post about the process of making the covers for the swatch swap book. The cover is so beautiful – [...]

  11. Holly says:

    May, thank you so much for sharing the process of making the covers. The whole book is so beautiful. I appreciate all the hard work that you & Megan put into the swap. Thanks again!

  12. [...] Papermaking and Printmaking are two mediums which we are both addicted to, and try to bring closer together. What better way than to print on freshly made paper sheets? Let me clarify: the paper has never been dried, only pressed after forming sheets by hand from wet paper pulp (see this post). [...]

  13. […] this post with some process photos of how to pull sheets of paper from a vat of pulp with a mould and […]

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